About product activation in Microsoft Office System products

To continue to use all the features of Microsoft Office 2003, you need to activate your copy of Office. This wizard will guide you, step-by-step, through the process of activating via the Internet or over the telephone.

Microsoft Product Activation is an anti-piracy technology designed to verify that software products have been legitimately licensed. It is quick, simple, unobtrusive, and helps protect customer privacy.

Product Activation works by verifying that a software program's product key, which you must use in order to install the product, has not been used on more personal computers than intended by the software's license. You can use a software activation wizard that enables you to provide your product ID (derived from the installation product key) to Microsoft either through an encrypted transfer over the Internet, or by telephone. A response (confirmation ID) is sent back to your machine to activate your product.

If you choose to activate your product through the Internet and you are not already connected, the wizard will help you get connected. If you choose to activate your product by talking to a customer service representative over the telephone, please note that it may take longer to complete the process.

Activation data provided to Microsoft is stored in a secure facility. Microsoft is very concerned with the privacy and security of the information you provide as part of the activation process. For more information on how Microsoft works to protect your privacy in Microsoft Office, search in the product help for "Privacy Statement."

After you finish activating your software over the Internet, you can choose to register your product, which enables you to receive information about product updates and special offers directly from Microsoft. The registration option is not provided if you choose to activate over the telephone. Note that registration is completely voluntary and does require sharing some personal information, such as a valid e-mail address. Any registration information provided is stored securely and separately from any activation information. No information is ever loaned or sold to third parties.


  • For information on your usage rights, see the End User Licence Agreement (EULA). To view the EULA, click the Help menu, click About <product name>..., and click View the End-User License Agreement.
  • Microsoft Text Telephone (TT/TTY) services are available for individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. In the United States, using a TT/TTY modem, dial 800-718-1599. From outside the United States, using a TT/TTY modem, dial 716-871-6859. TT/TTY service is only available in English.
  • For updated information on activation, visit Microsoft Office Online

ShowWhat happens if you don't activate your copy of Microsoft Office?

Before you activate Office, you may run it for a limited amount of time. Microsoft Office will go into Reduced Functionality Mode when this grace period expires. In Reduced Functionality Mode, you will not be able to save modifications to documents or create a new document, and additional functionality may be reduced.

No existing Office files or documents will be harmed, and you can easily get Office out of this mode by following the instructions outlined in the screens presented.

Applies to:
Access 2003, Excel 2003, FrontPage 2003, InfoPath 2003, Outlook 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Publisher 2003, Word 2003